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January 2014

Defense Research Institute Publishes Aviation Article By Gordon & Rees’s Spencer Hugret

On Dec. 23, 2013, the Defense Research Institute published an article by Gordon & Rees senior counsel Spencer Hugret of San Francisco. The article appeared in Skywritings, the newsletter of DRI’s aviation law committee.

In the article, titled “It’s Time to Turn Off and Put Away All Electronic Devices - Or Is It? Minimizing Risks of Liability in the Face of Changing Rules,” Hugret discussed portable electronic devices and the revised Federal Aviation Administration policy on their use, and examined potential liability concerns facing aircraft manufacturers and commercial operators in light of that new policy.

“The recent findings of the FAA's Portable Electronics Devices Aviation Rulemaking Committee on the use of PEDs on commercial aircraft deem the benefits of such use outweigh the risks.  There remains, however, a potential for harm, including in emergencies due to passengers distracted by PED use during pre-flight warnings or even during emergencies. Under such circumstances, the industry may face risks of claims by those who were distracted and fail to act in accordance with emergency procedures, or claims by passengers alleging injury due to the conduct of all of those other passengers who were distracted by PED use,” Hugret wrote.

Hugret co-chairs the San Francisco office’s Tort & Product Liability Practice Group.  He also is a member of Gordon & Rees’s Aviation; Commercial Litigation; Business Transactions; ERISA; Life, Health & Disability; and D&O and Securities Litigation Practice Groups.  His multifaceted practice focuses on complex litigation involving products liability, aviation accidents, commercial litigation, corporate and securities litigation, antitrust litigation, ERISA litigation, breach of fiduciary duty claims, and general business consultation and litigation.

To read the full article, please click here.


Spencer P. Hugret